A battle to the line sees Sam Bennett taking a strong second place on Critérium du Dauphiné stage 5
After yesterday’s demanding time trial stage, the riders faced a 200 km flat stage from Boën-sur-Lignon to Voiron today. Only four category 4 climbs awaited the riders before the spectators saw an exciting bunch sprint, with a false flat last kilometer to the line. Today’s breakaway consisted of three riders and enjoyed an advantage of around three minutes. BORA – hansgrohe stayed in the main bunch and took together with Mitchelton-Scott, the overall leader’s team, control in the peloton. The leading group was gone for most of the stage and held a gap of constantly more than two minutes. With 40 km left, Deceuninck - Quick-Step increased the pace in the main bunch and tried to close the gap. The trio at the front tried hard and was able to hold the pack away until the Flamme Rouge. There were some late attacks as the race headed into the finale, which was earmarked with some tricky corners, but BORA – hansgrohe was able to chase them down before starting their lead out for Sam Bennett. The Irish sprinter started his sprint early in order to be ahead of his opponents through the corners but J. Alaphilippe was on his wheel and overtook him on the last corner. The BORA – hansgrohe Sprinter was able to follow and a battle to the line saw Sam Bennett taking second behind Van Aert. Although it wasn’t the result the team was looking for, it was nevertheless a strong result after the BORA – hansgrohe guys worked tirelessly in the last kilometres.
01 W van Aert 5:00:34
02 S. Bennett +0:00
03 J. Alaphilippe +0:00
From the Finish Line
“Unfortunately, it was not to be today. The boys rode super well for me but the finish was super chaotic and earmarked by many attacks. I saw that Alaphilippe was coming around the corner so I was a little bit boxed in for a second, but I managed to take second place. I am disappointed but I am grateful to the guys for working so hard to pull the break back.”– Sam Bennett
“We worked right from the beginning with Cece followed by Christoph and wanted to be at the front especially shortly before the finale. The trio stayed out at the front quite a long time and battled hard. On the last kilometers, we have seen a lot of attacks. Therefore, it was difficult to start a proper lead-out, but still the guys did a great job. Of course, we wanted to win but nevertheless it is a strong second place.” – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director